Chennai: Hospital to pay Rs 57.74 lakh to parents of dead patient

The hospital staff informed them that they could see Abhani Kumar only after his recovery from his unconsciousness due to anaesthesia.

Chennai: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chennai, has directed a hospital to pay compensation of Rs 57.74 lakh to parents from Odhisa for death of their son due to negligence in treatment accorded to him in 2003.

In the complaint, Narasingh Paddhi and his wife Kuri Padhi of Berhampur District, Odhisa submitted that their son Abhani Kumar Padhi,29, was working in Dr. Reddys laboratories Ltd. Chennai. He was about to leave for Oman to join a new company. He underwent piles operation in M/s. Apollo Hospitals, on October 15, 2003. He attended as outpatient in hospital for routine check up. His colleague Veerasekaran accompanied him. The hospital informed him that their son was in an unconscious state and rushed to ICCU.

On hearing this, they came down to Chennai. However, the hospital had not allowed anyone to see him in the ICCU from October 15, 2003 to November 2, 2003, they said. The hospital staff informed them that they could see him only after his recovery from his unconsciousness due to anaesthesia. He was kept on ventilator and other equipment and the complainants were assured them throughout that he would recover.

Only when the medical bill reached Rs 3 lakh, which was the maximum insurance cover available for him, did the hospital inform the complainants that Abhani Kumar Padhi had suffered brain death and there would be no use for continuation of life support.

After the medical bill amount was settled the life support was withdrawn at about 1.20 p.m. on November 2, 2003 and he was declared dead at 1.26 p.m. on the same day. Completely shattered, the couple performed the funeral rites in Chennai on the next day.

They suspected that something went wrong in the method or procedure adopted in administration of anaesthesia because of which he slipped into coma and later died. They said their son had died due to medical negligence of doctors and surgeons in hospital. They sought direction to pay a compensation of '96 lakh for monetary loss and mental agony suffered by them.

In its reply, the hospital and surgeons denied allegations and stated that the complaint was filed only with a view to extract money from the hospital. The hospital treated him with utmost care and caution and there was no negligence on the part of the hospital and he died of brain stem dysfunction due to sub-arachnoid haemorrhage despite best treatment given to him. Stating that there was no deficiency in service on the part of hospital and surgeons, the hospital sought dismissal of the complaint.

The bench comprising Presiding Judicial Member K. Baskaran and member S.M. Murugesshan said here is a case wherein a hale and healthy youth of 29 years old went to the Apollo hospital on October 15, 2003 for post-operative check-up three months after a piles operation but he did not return alive and his dead body alone was handed over to his parents.

“The burden is heavily upon the opposite party to establish the death of the deceased. The hospital failed to prove that Abani Kumar Padhi had not died due to any negligence on their part. This leads us to the irresistible conclusion that Abani Kumar Padhi died of medical negligence.”

The commission directed M/s. Apollo Hospital, represented by its MD, M/s.Apollo Hospital represented by its Medical Superintendent, Anaesthetic Consultant and Surgeon, jointly and severally to pay a compensation of Rs 57.74 lakh to the complainants.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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